Palestine: Israeli soldiers shot dead mentally disabled Palestinian

31st May 2020
Palestine: Israeli soldiers shot dead mentally disabled Palestinian

By Zein Khalil

 

JERUSALEM (AA): Israeli forces shot dead a mentally disabled Palestinian in East Jerusalem on Saturday, according to Israeli media.

Border police officers opened fire on a man in Jerusalem’s Old City after they suspected he had a gun, The Times of Israel newspaper reported.

In a statement, police said the Palestinian man was carrying “a suspicious object that looked like a pistol” and ran away when ordered to stop.

According to Israeli media, the man, who was found to be unarmed, was shot dead during the chase.

The family of the young man, who was identified as Iyad Elkhalak, a resident of East Jerusalem’s neighborhood of Wadi Joz, has a mental disability.

Israeli soldiers shot him with eight live rounds at the stairs of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in occupied Jerusalem, while he was walking to the al-Bakriyyah School for persons with special needs.

Eyewitnesses said Eyad was just walking when the soldiers started shouting at him, and he got scared by their loud voices and tried to run away.

They added that the soldiers could have easily arrested him, without resorting to the lethal and excessive use of live fire.

His father, Khairi al-Hallaq, shocked and in disbelief, was sitting in his home, surrounded by several young men who knew the slain Palestinian and rushed to his home, could not utter many words, except prayers and mumblings that only echoed “he was killed in cold blood, he was murdered…”

His slain autistic son, he said, may have looked like a grown man, but his brain was that of a child, who didn’t interact with anybody, and who only left home to go to the special needs school.

“Why would they kill him in cold blood like this,” he said, “They claim that they thought he carried a weapon! Why didn’t they search him, why did they have to kill him without even making sure he was carrying the claimed weapon”.

He added that his slain son started going to the special needs school around six years ago, and that he goes there every day from the morning until evening, and when he returns home, he just sits alone in his room.

His weeping mother, [seen left] distraught and unable to catch a normal breath, said, “Why didn’t they just capture him… why not search him… why did they have to rush to fatal shots, to killing him in a cold-blooded manner like this.”

“He was murdered in cold-blood, he carried nothing but his mobile phone and his wallet”, she added, “He carried no weapons, he wanted to go to school because he felt bored at home, but at school he could be more active, and interact with others….”.

“Right now, after they killed him like this, my only wish is that we can have the burial ceremonies at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, before he is buried in the soil of Jerusalem,” she added, “He was an innocent person, he hated nobody, and what they did to him is a crime not only against him, but also against every person with special needs. They killed my only son, who was a child in a man’s body. They killed my only son, they killed my only son…”

The shooting came a day after Israeli forces killed a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank for allegedly attempting to ram them with his vehicle. No Israelis were wounded in either incident.

Additional report from Imemc.org

[Photo: Eyad al-Hallaq, 32, shot dead by Israeli soldiers near Al-Aqsa mosque on 30 May 2020. Photo by Imemc.org]

 

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